Planning and Parks Departments will collocate and share amenities with four county agencies in 14-story building now under construction.
SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department and Montgomery Parks, both part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, joined other county agencies, County Council members, County Executive and Maryland State Delegates at a groundbreaking ceremony for their new Wheaton headquarters on Sunday, June 4.
The 14-story building, located on Reedie Drive near the Wheaton Metro Station, will replace the county-owned Wheaton Market Place parking lot with a LEED Platinum-rated, mixed-use structure, a town square and an underground public parking garage. Several county agencies will move into the building in 2019, while the Parks and Planning Departments are scheduled to occupy their new offices in 2020.
View the Wheaton Headquarters web page on the Planning Board website.
M-NCPPC will own the 308,000 square-foot building. Offices and shared spaces for the Planning and Parks Departments will be located on the top four levels. The structure also will house the county Departments of Environmental Protection, Permitting Services, Recreation and Health and Human Services, as well as the Office of Community Use of Public Facilities and the Mid-County Regional Services Center/Urban District. The underground public garage will supply 400 parking spaces.
“We are pleased that members of the Wheaton community could help us break ground on our new headquarters building,” said Montgomery Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson at the groundbreaking ceremony. “We are excited about our upcoming move to the neighborhood and proud of the work that went into making sure this building would set a new standard for excellence in the design of public facilities in Montgomery County.”
Hundreds of government employees will be relocated to the new building complex in downtown Wheaton, which will help to revitalize the area with more people to patronize local businesses. The town square will provide a central meeting place to attract people to this area–no such public environment existed in this location before. Staff will be encouraged to walk, bike and take transit to work, reducing traffic and adding more pedestrian and street activity to downtown Wheaton.
Transparency of civic process symbolized
The mixed-use building with ground-floor retail and upper-floor offices will face directly onto a landscaped plaza and town square, designed to become the new heart of downtown Wheaton. The large, inviting entrance lobby will be framed in glass and illuminate the new plaza at night to symbolize the transparency and civic-mindedness of government. This two-story space will be used for displays, celebrations and other events. A daycare center will be located on the third floor.
The open lobby will include an information desk with public access to the Planning Board auditorium on the second floor. A living wall of greenery will extend on one side of the space to represent the building’s environmentally sensitive design.
Parks and Planning Department offices will be located on the top four floors. The departments are currently working to fine-tune the design of the interiors.
Sustainable design strategies outside and inside
The new headquarters will be one of the first LEED Platinum-certified government buildings in the state of Maryland. Green features include geothermal heating and cooling, integral solar panels, roof gardens, electricity generation and gray water reuse.
The exterior will incorporate rain screen facades, and the plaza and streetscapes will be designed with landscaped elements to manage stormwater onsite. In addition, the building is located within walking distance of Metrorail and bus lines.
The office interiors are designed to achieve a LEED Gold rating through energy efficient lighting, abundant daylight, locally sourced building materials and recycled materials.
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation is managing the design and construction of the building. The project team includes developer StonebridgeCarras and general contractor Clark Construction Group of Bethesda; architect Gensler and landscape architect Oculus of Washington, DC; mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer GHT Limited of Arlington, VA; structural engineer SK&A and civil engineer Bohler Engineering of Washington, DC.
About the Montgomery County Planning Department
The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, aims to improve quality of life by conserving and enhancing the natural and built environment for current and future generations. The Planning Department creates great communities by developing master plans, reviewing applications for development and analyzing various types of information to help public officials plan for Montgomery County’s future. The Department comprises 147 staff members and provides recommendations, information, analysis and services to the Montgomery County Planning Board, the County Council, the County Executive, other government agencies and the general public. Visit www.montgomeryplanning.org.
About Montgomery Parks
Montgomery Parks manages more than 36,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 418 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. www.montgomeryparks.org
The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC)encourages the involvement and participation of all individuals in the community, including those with disabilities, in the planning and review processes. In accordance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), M-NCPPC will not discriminate against individuals with disabilities in its services, programs or activities. M-NCPCC works to make its facilities and materials accessible and to hold public meetings in locations that are, likewise, accessible. M-NCPPC will generally provide, upon request, appropriate aids and services and make reasonable modifications to policies and programs for persons with disabilities (e.g. large print materials, listening devices, sign language interpretation, etc.). For assistance with such requests, please contact the M-NCPPC Montgomery County Commissioners’ Office, at least a week in advance, at (301) 495-4605 or at email@example.com. Maryland residents can also use the free Maryland Relay Service for assistance with calls to or from hearing or speech impaired persons; for information, go to www.mdrelay.org or call (866) 269-9006. Residents may also call the TTY number, (301) 495-1331, for assistance.